Cuba’s Ladies in White mark their 20th anniversary

May 22 marked the 20th anniversary of the brave and courageous Ladies in White. They are the mothers, wives, and daughters of political prisoners in Cuba who peacefully protest the tyranny of the communist Castro dictatorship.

Via Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

Twenty years ago brave Cuban women took the name Ladies in White

Today four Ladies in White are in prison for demanding freedom for political prisoners and respect for human rights.

May 22, 2023 marks the day twenty years ago when a group of brave Cuban women took the name the Ladies in White.

They first came together on March 30, 2003 in the aftermath of major crackdown that began on March 18, 2003, and with political show trials underway targeting their loved ones.

These courageous women carried out marches demanding the freedom of all prisoners of conscience and recognition of international human rights standards.

Their objective was to see an end to prisoners of conscience in Cuba.

Recognizing their struggle, the European Parliament awarded the Ladies in White the Sakharov Prize in 2005.

They’ve paid a high price for this stand. Movement leader Laura Pollán may have paid the highest price.

Mary O’Grady in The Wall Street Journal on October 24, 2011 reported that Pollán instead of disbanding sought to expand “the movement across the country and promised to convert it to a human rights organization open to all women. Speaking from the Guanajay prison as her condition was deteriorating, jailed former Cuban counterintelligence officer Ernesto Borges Pérez told the Hablemos Press that making public those objectives likely sealed her fate.” Laura Pollán died on October 14, 2011 and was cremated shortly afterwards.

Twenty years later, and the Ladies in White continue to be subjected to brutal repression, and four women of this movement are now jailed in Cuba for calling for the release of political prisoners, and nonviolently defending human rights.

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